The Anthropology of Johannes Scottus Eriugena
This book deals with Eriugena's anthropology in the general context of his thinking on universal nature. At the outset the role of man seems to be conditioned by nature's dynamic development through the Neoplatonic stages of procession and return. As man is located at the turning- point between procession and return, he is not only governed by nature's unfolding, but can also exercise control over it. Thus it is shown that man should be seen as much more independent than the cosmological structure of Eriugena's philosophy of nature seems to indicate. The study of Eriugena's anthropology urges a re-evaluation of the position of man in the early medieval period. Although man characteristically possesses a sinful, created state, Eriugena shows that this does not prevent him from entertaining a free and direct relationship with God and the surrounding universe. In dealing with the problem of human sin, Eriugena brings out Christ's saving role, but it seems counterbalanced by man's intrinsic potential as the "divine image" to rehabilitate himself. In this respect Eriugena's flexible method of reasoning - his handling of negative theology, theophany and allegorical exegesis - serves as a remarkable example of human independence in what has so often been portrayed as the "static" early-medieval world.
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aliud all-embracing allegorical allegorical exegesis animal appears aspects autem beatific vision biblical Boethius Book character completely concept of natura context created nature creation creature definition deus dialectical divine essence divine nature divisio division and analysis division of nature dynamic effect enim Eriugena Eriugena's anthropology Eriugena's view Eriugenian eschatological exegesis final fourfold division Genesis God's grasp Gregory Gregory of Nyssa human mind human nature human reason imaginem imago imago dei intellectual interpretation Jeauneau knowledge Master Maximus Maximus the Confessor mode natura non creans negative theology Neoplatonic nihil non-being notion omnia omnium ontology and intelligibility original pantheism paradise peccatum Periphyseon predication primordial causes problem processio and reditus procession and return proprie quae quam quia quod rational investigation reflection role Scripture second division seems sense soul species sunt theophany theosis things tion transcendence trompe-l'oeil true ture ugena ultimately understanding unity universe universe's vero whole